There were no Measurement Books and other records pertaining to plantation of saplings under the rural employment guarantee scheme.

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Embezzlement of nearly Rs 2 crore by some officials of the District Water Management Agency (DWMA) in implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has come to light in social audit. It was revealed that the DWMA officials swindled the funds in plantation of fruit-bearing saplings taken up in Pullalacheruvu mandal of Prakasam district in 2019-20 under MGNREGA. 

They had swindled the funds by submitting false bills pertaining to the implementation of MGNREGA to the district treasury office. Development works worth Rs 8.94 crore were taken up in Pullalacheruvu in 2019-20. DWMA Project Director Seena Reddy conducted the 11th round of MGNREGA social audit at the Mandal Parishad office a few days ago.

The plantation of fruit-bearing saplings was executed by the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP). It was found that some DWMA officials withdrew huge amounts by not implementing the plantation scheme at the field level in the mandal. 

There were no Measurement Books and other records pertaining to plantation of saplings under the rural employment guarantee scheme. Some government department officials did not even submit the records for crosschecking of the funds spent. 

“Mandal level officials of the Panchayat Raj, SERP and Rural Water Supply (RWS) departments did not submit their records for the social audit. We are going to report the matter to the higher authorities,” DWMA Assistant Project Director Nageswara Rao told TNIE.

“We will take stringent action against the officers and staff involved in embezzlement of Rs 1.95 crore. All the officers and staff should bear the responsibility for every rupee spent by the government under MGNREGA and other development schemes. We will recover the swindled amount from the errant staff at the earliest,” DWMA Project Director Seena Reddy said.

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